Is the term BREEDER offensive? How much so?

Well, I guess I’m out of the cultural loop. (No real surprise, there.)

On consideration, I still find it a bit silly, but I am quite willing to let anyone else either give or take offense at its use as it suits their needs.

I don’t mind it if it is used between us heterosexuals. I just don’t think others should be allowed to use it. j/k

bo989, you might want to keep in mind that “breeder” is not an uncommon insult thrown at parents or people who want to be parents by the more nasty and vitriolic corners of the childfree community.

In fact, that’s my sole familiarity with it in practice, though I have seen (once) before evidence that it is used as a term for heterosexuals. My first presumption given my experience would be to presume that anyone using the term is a member of that subsection of childfree folks who at least give the impression of hating children almost as much as they hate parents or would-be parents.

As a heterosexual who has reproduced, I don’t find it remotely offensive. In fact, I find it mildly amusing.

Context is everything in my experience. A gay male friend of mine used to call me that, but it was a joke based on a “plan” we had once made to have children together (which was never quite serious, but a fun thought experiment.) I’ve had it used in an insulting fashion, usually by gay men at the radical end of the spectrum. Having some insight (not much, but some) into what they experience, I usually let it go. They suffered much worse than I, and I couldn’t have reached them in any intellectual sense. I do recall being pushed for a response by one fellow, who was determined to get a reaction - I believe I was supposed to apologize :dubious: I told him I was sorry that his mother had been a breeder. Afterwards, I felt ashamed that I had participated in the exchange, as it made no one feel any better, and furthered no communication. In general, it makes me think less of the person using it - there are much better insults, if insults are needed.

I think a word can’t have any offence in and of itself: it’s the cultural and historical baggage a word causes that makes it offensive. “Nigger” is offensive because of the centuries of slavery and Jim Crow that term is associated with. I feel similarly about “kike” or “faggot.” There is a long and tragic history of abuse and worse associated with those words.

There is no such history with terms like “breeder,” “honky,” “cracker” etc. There has been no history of discrimination against straight white people, and so these attempted slurs have no weight behind them. Certainly, if the term is used against me with the intent to wound, I’ll react to the hostility aimed against me, but no more than I would if I were called an asshole or a motherfucker instead.

Straight male, happily married with kids, here.

Wasn’t aware that some gay folk refer to heteros as ‘breeders’…though I will confess that the wife and I have used the term ourselves when confonted by hetero couples (or single women) that have an overabundance of children. (usually 5 or more).

not sure how relevant this is to the conversation, just wanted to say that the term is not always used in a gay/straight context.

I’ve never heard anyone gay use the term so this is news to me. Anytime I have heard this word it has been used as a snarky insult towards people who have kids, said by the meaner childfree proponents (of which there are few, fortunately).

Yes, I find it offensive but I figure there’s nothing I can do about it. I take the high road and I don’t refer to them as “childphobic.”

<sub>(And before you jump on me, yes I know that not all childfree couples are scared of kids but have other reasons that they have chosen not to have them, etc. etc. etc.)</sub>

Doh! Stupid formatting …

Straight guy here…

Not offended at all. The first time i heard one of my gay friends use the term, i laughed my ass off.

HaHa! Sorry JayJay, my intent is not to offend or demean you here. But this strikes me as really funny. It’s reminiscent of Chris Rock saying, What’s with this ‘white’ chocolate? Can’t my people have anything to themselves?"

I’ve been to a gay bar on a handful of ocassions. Granted, it was on Lesbo a go-go nights which might have a different clientel and vibe. At the risk of stereotyping, us straight guys love to watch lesbians make out. (Chasing Amy: “Where else can you go to watch this stuff without paying for it?”)

Anyway, the vibe always seemed very loose. Lots of drunkenness and flesh. Probably lots of ecstacy. Prevailing attitude seemed to be one of Celebrate Diversity and loose sexual mores. Straight, Gay, Bi, threesomes, whatever.

Begs a question I had never considered. Are there heterophobic gays?

It’s a pretty weak insult if you ask me, because it just opens up the retort of “evolutionarily unfit”.

frithrah, yes, there are heterophobic queers, just as there are racist African-Americans and anti-Christian Jews. Gay folk are human…we have our assholes just like everyone else does. :slight_smile:

And the whole problem, for me, with the straight couples using gay bars for their public displays of just-barely-legal affection is that if the situation were reversed, and two men started to go at it in pretty much any drinking establishment outside of the major cities, those two men have a very high likelihood of not making it back to their car at the end of the night. My feeling is that gay bars are safe havens for queer folk to show affection to each other, which is a rarity in public places in most of the country. Straight people coming in and making out is roughly equivalent, to me, to a Christian prayer meeting entering a synagogue and holding a prayer service in the vestibule…it doesn’t directly interfere with the service going on inside, but it’s very bad form and incredibly rude.

I don’t mind straight people going to gay bars…I love the straight friends who occasionally show up at the bar here in town. But for a straight couple to go to a gay bar for no apparent reason other than making out voraciously is extremely rude, to me.

What, nobody’s resorted to a dictionary yet? The usage being discussed here is, of course, the third definition, which rightly notes that it is “offensive slang.” It seems exceedingly rare for “breeder” to be used when the intent of the speaker is not in some way to belittle or dismiss the person referred to on the basis of his or her sexual orientation. That being said, it’s a pretty dumb insult, which I suspect reflects more on the speaker than the target.

I have, incidentally, made this argument before.

a dictionary

Incidentally, pldennison had a pretty good post, complete with cites, on page 3 of that Pit thread I linked. I quote it here in its entirety:

Inoffensive? Sure, inoffensive, just as inoffensive as my dear sweet friend who looks at a family of four and mutters “Goddamned breeders” under his breath.

As a single, non-parent heterosexual (well, relatively hetero at least), I really despise the term when it’s thrown at me or, really, anyone else. But I don’t think it’s any more offensive than “queer” or “fag”.

I never hear it in a non-perjorative manner, though.

If I may submit the meaning of “breeder” as I’ve always understood it:

Simply being a hetero does not make one a breeder.

Having a kid does not make one a breeder.

Insisting that having little clones of yourself is the only valid lifestyle, having a sense of legal and social entitlement due to having kids, demending that not only your life, but those of everyone around you, should revolve around your perfect little angel who can do no wrong – that makes one a “breeder”, and yes, it’s an insult. To those that desreve it.

Two examples:

  1. My girlfriend’s friend who recently adopted. She doesn’t insist on showing baby pictures. She doesn’t insist that all conversations be about her pwecious widdle darling. There is more to her life than Montessori schools and diapers. Not a breeder.

  2. Asshat cab driver. Insisted that my girlfriend, who was facing cervical cancer, should be dumped, because she would not be able to bear me children. She was no longer a “real woman.” I should find someone who had no higher purpose than provide me with a uterus. Breeder.


Touche` JayJay.

I’m not unempathetic to your postion. It is a double standard and I can appreciate you sentiment. I suppose it would feel violating like an invasion of your turf, or worse yet, that these blatant displays were intended to show off as if to make a degrading statement, “This is how ‘normal’ people are.” But I would think it more likely that they were there either because they were into exhibitionism and thought the environment would be more tolerant, or they were trying to entice a bi partner.

Its a shame that such division exists. Some of the best times I’ve had were at Fantasy Fest in Key West. A Mardis Gras styled night of debauchery in a society were everyone is tolerant of one another and no one is labeled. I’ve witnessed acts that would make porn stars blush. Not just in the bars, but in the street no less! The rest of the year, sexuality isn’t flaunted like that. But the tolerence is still there. Nobody talks about breeders or fags. They all just bitch in unison “Damn Tourists!” :stuck_out_tongue:

You are, perhaps, unaware that being treated as free pornographic entertainment by straight men is something that most lesbians find offensive, unwelcome, and upsetting.